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Bavaria Beer and Food

26 Jun

I found myself in Bavaria recently. Unfortunately, I’m not really a fan of German food and the continuous stream of meat-and-white-starch (and to my disappointment, so many of the sausages and pork chops just weren’t very good), but a handful of meals or beers were memorable.

Bamberg was a cute city and great place for beer. Schlenkerla is one of the few old breweries still making a rauchbier (smoked beer). Their Marzen tapped straight from a wooden keg was intoxicatingly campfire-smoky in smell, but not bitter or harsh in taste, with a modestly roasted malt and creamy body (and all this for about $3). Delicious and definitely worth a visit.

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Cafe Abseits (tucked away in a residential neighborhood on the opposite side of Bamberg from all the sights) was my favorite bar of the trip. They had a deep beer list and a very laid-back, uncrowded atmosphere and outdoor patio. The Duvel Triple Hop Mosaic was complex– it smelled a bit like basil and tangerines, and had a noticeably warming alcohol flavor (9% ABV) with some funk and a slightly bitter orange aftertaste. It was an A+ for me, and it kept getting more funky as it warmed up.


Wurzburg had good ies (ice cream), wine (it’s in Franconia, surrounded by vineyards), and a great little breakfast place a friend took me to, with a dumbwaiter, books, and a disco ball. Among other dishes I ordered the famous bavaria breakfast weisswurst (white sausages made with veal, bacon and herbs,  served in broth with a “lye stick” and sweet mustard).

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Augsburg’s Riegele brewery was a good place for a tour, with a chance to taste beer straight out of the fermenter in a nearly pitch-black, cold, sub-basement lit by candlelight. For obvious reasons I didn’t take any photos of that, but their Simcoe specialty ale was more interesting than your average helles:



And of course Munich. Sure, there were a lot of crisp solid German lagers here… but lagers rarely excite me. The Edelstoff fresh from a wooden keg at Augistinerkeller was good, though.


Finally, Der Pschorr biergarten (which I’d found on Chowhound) was the one really good German dinner in a sea of fatty-pork-with-white-potatoes-or-kraut meals, with a crisp helles, a great steak with herbed butter, grilled tomatoes, and horseradish, and actual green vegetables… as well as fantastic housemade hazelnut schnapps.



Eating in Nuremberg, Prague

28 Jan

The food in Eastern Germany and the Czech Republic was heavy meat-and-potatoes fare that had me missing Northern California. Hütt’n in Nuremberg was a cozy little wood-lined pub with maybe eight tables, and is the one restaurant I’d strongly recommend (get there on the early side or make a reservation…).

At Hütt’n, Nuremberger sausages with a mustard-y potato salad (Franconian-style, I believe) and some strong horseradish, washed down with a dark-by-Germany’s-standards beer:

Everything on that plate was delicious, and it was probably my second-favorite meal of the extended trip, after the chicken rice in Singapore.

Their apfelstrudel was okay, but the other dessert, a fried apple fritter of some sort, was better:

The other food was decent, but none of the restaurants were ones I’d tell people to seek out. For example, a middling pretzel split in half and buttered, served for lunch with a bacon-filled pastry:

Venison Goulash with potatoes. Heavy and impossible to finish:

Mixed grilled meat. Still heavy:

I went 0 for 2 on food in Prague: terrible ham sandwiches with mayo, and bad smoked duck and pork. But the hot chocolate (more in the “melted dark chocolate” style) was good:

Beer in East Germany, Prague

27 Jan

My two favorite beers from a few days in and near Germany (both from restaurant and beer bar Hütt’n in Nuremberg, on Burgstraße — Nuremberg has a reputation for dark-for-Germany beers):

Landbier Dunkel from Brauerie Reh. Coppery, slightly hoppy with no bitterness, very satisfying.

Schwarze Anna from Brauerie Neder. Black, a sort of burnt chocolate taste (though not too heavy), reminded me of a stout.

I also had (though less exciting):
  • Leichtes Landbier from Brauerie Rittmayer
  • A Czech pilsner I didn’t write down the name of, in Prague
Every beer was reasonably good, and a welcome break from a bad beer I’d had in Asia, but nothing blew me away. I was also busy and slightly sick at the end of the trip, though, so beer tasting wasn’t at the top of my list.